Unremarkable Weekend

(I know… if it was unremarkable, then why am I “remarking” in four big paragraphs? Just go with it… 😏 )

I’ve got mixed feelings about the weekend. Part of me feels like I should have worked on some crap around the house, but then not having done much of that – most of my aches and pains have lessened a bunch compared to last week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I suppose that means I did things right. Definitely caught up on my sleep, made a big-ish trip to the grocery store (even though I forgot a couple of key things and will need to go back tomorrow), plus I took the car through the wash so she could get a bath. πŸ˜ŽπŸš—πŸšΏ

The weather today was surprising, having not read the forecast. 😯 Sunny, in the 60s, with some pretty gusty wind. πŸ˜ƒ Every now and then I’d hear my big pine tree out front singing from the air passing through it, along with some random creaks and groans from my roof when the gusts got really crazy. 😳🏠πŸŒͺ️ It sorta tempted me to go out and find something fun to do in the nice weather, but I came up empty for ideas. None of my cameras are charged… hell, I’d have to actually remember where I even put them… so taking some random pics was a no-go. Then with my knees just now feeling mostly better, even going for a small hike around Rising or Alley Parks just wouldn’t have been the best idea. πŸ•οΈπŸ₯ΎπŸ˜Ÿ Β Enjoying it from my living room with the window open was perfectly acceptable. 😌

So yeah, it was an almost totally “relaxed” weekend. It’s hard for me to not push myself to “do something” – but, at least for this weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t. πŸ™‚ It’s allowed me to be optimistic that the week’s gonna start off okay, at least when it comes to all my damaged parts. 😏🀞🏻 Only other thing that’s even close to “worth mentioning” is that I cancelled my YouTube TV. It was around $60 each month, and of the stuff that I watch on my TV, it honestly accounted for probably only 5% of my watch time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ“Ί

It’s probably gonna make me a little twitchy once NASCAR is back on, but I’ll have to look around and see what other options there are. Whether it’s finding another way to watch the race, listen to the audio, or even use an app to see the race with little real-time computer generated cars… I’ll figure something out. 😎

 

EDIT: Gawd… not only did I not realize today was the Super Bowl, but I also forgot that it was Groundhog’s Day. And having family that came from that area in PA, that’s almost like a sin – not giving Punxsatawney Phil the weather-forecasting-attention that he deserves. Spoiler warning: apparently we’ll be having an early spring this year.

SpaceX Flight Abort Test

If it would have taken off at 9am as planned, I probably would have gotten to see it live… but since I had to be on the road shortly after that, I had to wait until getting home this evening to see how things went with the SpaceX “Crew Dragon 2” abort test. 😯 Luckily, Scott Manley (what a name… heh) had already thrown together a nice little video covering the whole event. (Check out his channel if you’re into space stuffs.)Β πŸ€“

Interestingly enough, Genesee is actually in Florida right now… but unfortunately on the wrong coast. πŸ˜„ Apparently you can see SpaceX launches from around the Tampa area when they are conducted at night, but I’m not sure what kind of luck they’d have trying to see it during the morning hours. πŸ€”πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

This launch was of particular interest to folks because not only were they conducting their first test of the escape vehicle, designed to detach and “rocket itself away” from the main booster, but after the capsule successfully flew itself away – SpaceX planned to self-destruct the rocket mid-flight, rather than allowing it to fall back to earth (well, the ocean) and risk some sort of potential problem along the way or at impact. 😧 That must have been a heck of a sight to see if you were in the area. πŸ˜―β˜οΈπŸš€πŸ–οΈπŸŒ₯️πŸ’₯πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

Being planned, this wasn’t one of SpaceX’s famous “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly” moments. 😏

Often Watched Channels

Whenever I end up talking about TV with most of my friends, it seems that none of them watch YouTube on their actual television. πŸ€” I think a lot of people still think of the platform as just a dumping ground for random assholes who upload boring phone videos, awkward family events, hour-long videos of their kids graduating kindergarten, etc. 😏 I mean, that is what it was for a good part of its early years – but now there are loads of people and groups who take it seriously and produce some really good content, thanks to the video monetization that enables them to actually make a living from the site.

So when friends ask me what shows I watch, or what cable/satellite/streaming service I use for “cable” … they don’t quite get it when I say that most of my time is spent watching YouTube. πŸ€“β–ΆοΈΒ When you’re watching on a laptop or your phone, you’re pretty interactive with it, usually picking each video you wanna watch. But on the TV, with auto-play active, eventually it learns the types of videos you seem to enjoy and it’ll keep feeding them to you without you having to do a thing. πŸ˜―πŸ˜… That’s how I ended up coming across most of the folks in the list below… searching for one thing, and ending up on their videos eventually.

But even if you don’t have a YouTube app on your TV, I still think these channels are worth taking a look at. 🧐 They aren’t in any particular order, nor do they cover any overarching theme… just a bunch of different channels that drew my interest over time for one reason or another. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So if you find yourself bored and looking for something new to watch, have a click through some of these channels and I bet you’ll eventually find yourself hooked on at least a few of them if you watch long enough.

  • TechmoanBritish reviewer of new and old audio, video, camera, misc tech
  • Ozzy Man ReviewsAustralian comedy commentary on viral videos
  • Cracked: Obsessive Pop Culture DisorderΒ – In-depth comedy takes on movies and TV
  • Today I Found OutΒ – Individual episodes focused on random trivia type topics

  • Boom 97.3 – Behind The VinylΒ – Stories about songs as told by the singers or band members
  • Sweet and Tasty TVSouth Korean travel/food/culture vlog
  • Philip DeFrancoFast paced “news of the day” with a mix of regular/social media news
  • Red Letter MediaΒ – Long form comedic reviews of one or two movies each episode

  • Thoughty2Β – Another “things you might not have known or thought about” type channel
  • Fact Fiend w/Karl Smallwood“No shits given” rambling comedy focused on misc topics
  • TopTenzΒ – More “random” type info or trivia, in a quickly delivered format
  • Cracked: After HoursΒ – Group of folks (scripted) insight into funny/weird/unique media

  • Bros of DecayΒ – Loads of extremely well-shot explorations of abandoned buildings
  • Kerzgesagt – In a NutshellΒ – Animated educational presentations on scientific/social topics
  • Internet TodayΒ – Several different shows, comedic takes on current real world/internet topics
  • Mentour PilotΒ – Watch enough and you’ll be convinced you can fly and land a 747 too

  • The SlowMo GuysΒ – Using some of the highest frame rate cameras for various experiments
  • Doug DemuroTHIS… is aΒ “regular guy” reviewing the weirdest, coolest cars you can imagine
  • Captain DisillusionPublic access type “superhero” that debunks fake internet videos
  • Rossmann Repair GroupApple laptop repair guy w/educational (and hypnotic) repair videos

  • CinemaSinsΒ – Somewhat sarcastic/comedic nitpicking of all the popular movies
  • Lessons from the ScreenplayDetailed looks at how movies come from the written page
  • Dave SundstromΒ – Seems to be just “some guy” with nostalgia for 50s thru 80s television
  • Cobra KaiΒ – Sequel series to the old Karate Kid moviesΒ (TRAILER)Β (YouTube Premium)

That last title, you (unfortunately) have to be subscribed to YouTube Premium to watch it… but man is it a good follow-up to those movies. It’s set in the present day, with Daniel and his former karate adversary, Johnny, meeting up again after all these years. I think it’s like ten bucks for premium, but not only do you get their YouTube Originals (which generally nobody cares about), but you also get to play every video ad-free. πŸ™‚ None of those five-second waits until you can “skip ad” to get on with it. It just plays… just like “real” TV. 😎

(I’m sure that there’s a handful of my favorites that I’ve neglected to include on this list, so don’t be too surprised if there’s a “part two” eventually, as I run across other favorites and go “OH… yeah… shit.” as I watch during the week. 😏)

People Watching

Went to the Sweet Corn Festival, but I’m wiped out today… haven’t done much of anything, other than binge watching TV, Netflix, and YouTube. Don’t really feel like talking about the SCF right now, no particular reason, but I really just came here to post about this cartoon series on Cracked’s YouTube channel that really speaks to me. There’s one character that I particularly relate to, but the whole vibe from these episodes are totally me. If you make it a handful of episodes in, I really do like the “letter to my teacher” episode in Season One.

Here ya go if you wanna watch…

Season One

Season Two (I’m only a couple episodes in… not sure about this season yet.)

Don’t Try To Distract Me With Facts

For someone who likes observing the humans and the way they act and treat each other, Twitter has been quite the place to be recently. And like I mentioned to a couple other people I know… I realize that Twitter isn’t an accurate representation of the entire population of humans, but even with that understanding it’s still difficult for me to see so many people who operate so differently than I think people should.

Mainly what I’m talking about is people’s tendency to find a controversy, pick a side, jump to a conclusion that isn’t based in fact, logic, or critical thinking – and then scream and shout at other people who don’t share the exact same position as they do. Granted, I’m not exactly silent on a lot of issues – but I try to only speak from a position where I’ve educated myself on the topic, and saying things which (I believe) have facts and logic to back it all up. My problem: expecting the humans to function the same way, hoping that they can understand the difference between a fact and opinion or allegation.

Two “situations” where I’ve found myself trying to bring reason to conversations:

  • The allegations against Chris Hardwick by his former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. She has accused him of psychological and sexual abuse during their relationship, and within days his various television shows have been shelved by AMC, his name was scrubbed from the Nerdist site that he founded, and he has lost future gigs hosting various things at different comic conventions.
  • Atari has started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to develop and create a new console called the Atari VCS… and there is a small but extremely vocal group of angry “game nerd” YouTube channels who are absolutely certain that the whole thing is a scam, and keep producing angry videos with all sorts of allegations – all in what seems to be an attempt to sabotage Atari’s console launch.

With Hardwick and Dykstra, I’m of the opinion that nobody knows what happened except for the two parties involved, so the public can’t come to a determination that’s anything more than just opinion or assumption. But on Twitter, there are thousands of posts from people who are loudly cheering that he’s lost his jobs and his reputation, despite the only “proof” being that an ex-girlfriend said some things.

These aren’t people who think that he did what she said. These are people that know, with absoluteΒ certainty, and aren’t hesitant to call him a monster and say that he’s getting exactly what he deserved. There’s a smaller group who are outright calling Dykstra a liar, and then there’s an even smaller group of folks like me who simply say that we hope that someone gets to the bottom of the situation based on the facts, and that it’s unfortunate that a man’s life is being destroyed based simply on an allegation.

For the people who are #MeToo activists, people who advocate that people “wait and see what the facts reveal” are the enemy. A majority of them make a comment supporting Dkystra, and then follow it up with “And I should know, because I’ve been through the same thing or something similar – showing that their view might be a little biased. Evidence is already popping up which conflicts with parts of her allegations, but hell… if he’s guilty, get him. But damn… the man has lost almost everything and has been declared a trash human by half of the internet – all because she said it was so.

With Atari, they put their crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo, which doesn’t require a working prototype before funding can be solicited. But angry YouTubers are screaming “THEY DON’T EVEN HAVE A PRODUCT!” as if that’s something that should surprise anyone. Why would anyone expect them to have a nearly complete product, when that’s the point of raising the money? And Atari, for whatever reason, delayed the launch of their campaign once last year – which is another thing that the video creators say indicates a scam. As if no other successful products have ever had delays in their design or production.

What the problem actually is, is that these YouTube creators feel slighted by Atari. They feel that Atari owes it to them, to contact them and provide them more information, or answer the questions that they have about the project. Atari eventually got tired of being badmouthed by this small group of angry people and pushed back against what they were saying, which obviously hurt the feelings of these “reviewers” and caused them to make even more outlandish claims. Most of these angry folks haven’t even backed the project, nor do they intend to, but boy are they mad anyway – because how dare Atari not contact them directly and answer every damn question that they have.

Atari’s project already has nearly $3M in backing, so apparently there were plenty of people who felt like the information on the campaign page was enough. As with any hardware, it will obviously go through all sorts of slight changes before finalized, and people understand this. The angry YouTube mob is furious that Atari won’t give them more information, but why should they have to? If they’re already getting plenty of backers, and it’s obvious that speaking with the angry people won’t make a difference, why would they? Are these folks also screaming at Sony and Microsoft, demanding that they be given more about their next consoles in development?

But the more that these people shout “SCAM! DUMPSTER FIRE! FAKE! LIES!” in their videos, the more that their followers start to get nervous, and end up drinking the kool-aid and repeating the same claims that are being made in the angry videos. If the creator has 100k followers on YouTube, and is spouting whatever… there’s a good chance that their followers will start spouting the same thing in the comments and elsewhere, even if just to look like they “think just like a video creator who has 100k followers.” It’s toxic and sad.

So yeah… whether I’m trying to convince people that they should hold their venom for Hardwick until the claims against him have been proven, or if I’m pointing out that all of the “signs” that angry video creators are using against Atari are just normal things that happen in almost every crowdfunding campaign… people just continue to rage. You’re expected to either hate Dykstra or hate Hardwick. No middle ground. You’re supposed to accept that Atari is scamming $3M from people, and shouldn’t dare suggest that it might not be the case. Hardwick might be guilty, Atari’s console might be a flop or a scam… but people’s eagerness to convict others of this or that, with only assumptions or “feelings about it” to back it up… it’s just bizarre, and the amount of people getting caught up in it only seems to be growing.

I know, I shouldn’t bother… but I wanna believe that under the surface, people really are capable of unbiased, critical thinking – and I wanna say or do things that encourage that, or try to bring it out of them. Every now and then I might get one or two of ’em… heh… but not surprisingly, the irate people who claim their passion-filled opinions as fact just don’t seem interested in considering alternate views of a situation. 😏 It’s still my method of escapism though, for when I don’t feel like thinking about anything in my own life, in those moments that I’m sticking my nose into other people’s thoughts… so at least I’m getting a small benefit from it all, eh?